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Summer Wellness Tips- Staying Cool When Exercising in the Summer

July 23 - Posted at 2:02 PM Tagged: , , , , , , ,

It is time to take your winter treadmill routine outdoors to the parks. Summer is here and you are prepared to sweat! But before you lace up your running shoes, read these eight tips to help you keep cool during the summer months.


Safety tips

Heat-related illness is serious, but that does not mean you are doomed to spending summer indoors in the air-conditioned gym. Review these safety tips before you step out into the sun:


  1. Exercise in the early morning or late evening hours. The temperature is the coolest at this time. Avoid exercising midday because it is the hottest part of the day.


  2. Drink up! Do not wait until you are thirsty to start hydrating. Make sure to drink adequate amounts of fluids. If you are exercising for an extended period of time, you may need to replace the salt and minerals lost through sweat. If you are on diuretics (water pills) or a low-salt or fluid restricted diet, talk to your doctor first about your specific fluid needs.


  3. Wear lightweight, loose fitting clothing. Consider dressing in clothes made with moisture wicking fabric.


  4. Protect yourself from the sun. Wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher. try to exercise in the shade if possible. Play tennis on a court shaded by the trees or take a walk in a wooded park.


  5. Rest early and often. Take breaks in shady areas.


  6. Gradually get used to the heat. It takes 7-10 days for your body to adapt to the change in temperature. Start by exercising for a short time, at a low intensity. Save long, hard workouts until after you are acclimates to the summer air.


  7. Mind the weather. Do not exercise on the hottest days. Keep an eye on the heat index. The heat index is a calculation of the temperature and humidity. It measures “how hot it really feels” outside. Be cautious when the heat index gets above 80 degrees. Consider working out indoors. Walk around a shopping mall or do a workout DVD in your air-conditioned home.


  8. Stop if you don’t feel well. If you have any of the warning signs of heat-related illness, stop your workout right away.


Recognize Warning Signs of Heat Illness

The heat can take its toll on your body and make you sick. Heat-related illness can even be life threatening. Learn how to spot signals of heat-related illness. They range from cramps to muscle spasms to more serious signs like dizziness or fainting. If possible, move to a cool place to help cool the body down and drink fluids .


Heat exhaustion is a warning sign that your body cannot keep itself cool. Stop exercising right away. Heat exhaustion is dangerous and may lead to heat stroke. Symptoms include:


  • excessive thirst
  • heavy sweating
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • cramps
  • nausea or vomiting
  • dehydration


Heat stroke is life-threatening. Stop exercising right away and call 911 for any of the following symptoms:

  • unusual behavior, hallucinations or confusion
  • fainting
  • seizures
  • fever of 104 degrees F or greater


Heat illness is more likely to occur in people who:

  • are 65 or older
  • infants and children up to age four
  • have chronic illnesses
  • are obese

May is High Blood Pressure Awareness Month

May 07 - Posted at 2:01 PM Tagged: , , , , , , ,

One in three American adults has high blood pressure. Medication is often prescribed, but that is not the only solution. There are many lifestyle strategies that have also been shown to have an impact. For some, weight loss combined with exercise and a healthy eating plan may even reduce or eliminate the need for medication altogether.


Your doctor can help you decide whether to take a combined approach of medication plus lifestyle change, or whether to try following these health lifestyle strategies first:


  1. Increase Exercise- Aerobic exercise, like walking, biking, swimming, or water aerobics,  can lower blood pressure and also help with weight loss. It does not take a time-consuming workout in a gym to reap the benefits either. As few as 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week has been shown to be effective.


  2. Cut Your Salt Intake- Eating a diet high in sodium may raise your blood pressure and lead to heart disease and stroke. Experts recommend limiting sodium intake to 2300 mg per day. People 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease are advised to limit sodium to 1500 mg. Steps you can take to limit your sodium intake include checking labels of food and OTC medications for their sodium content, using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor food, and avoiding processed foods such as canned and frozen ready-to-eat foods.


  3. Eat a Healthy Diet- Following a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet has been shown to help lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. A DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat diary products. It restricts the intake of saturated fats, red meat, and sugar. The increased fiber, potassium, calcium and magnesium from these foods are all thought to play a role in reducing blood pressure.


  4. Lose Weight- Even a 10 pound weight loss can help reduce blood pressure or prevent high blood pressure in the majority of overweight people. Steps you can integrate into your everyday life to aid in losing weight include keeping a food journal to track exactly what and how much you eat, watching your portion sizes, not skipping meals, trying to include 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily which will fill you up and help curb your hunger.


  5. Limit Alcohol- Drinking a lot of alcohol can raise your blood pressure. If you choose to drink, keep your alcohol intake to no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks for men. A drink is the equivalent of 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 2 ounces of hard liquor.


The key is ultimately discovering what works best for you and your body. Choose your strategies, take action and start enjoying the benefits.

Our payroll stuffer this month will focus on the important topic of Heart Health. It covers topics imporant to your employees such as:



Heart Disease & Diet

If you have high cholesterol, are at risk for heart disease or just want to follow a healthy diet, see what the TLC diet can do for you.


Nutty Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy

If you have heart disease, nuts are healthier than many other snacks. You can easily incorporate them into your diet by adding them to your morning yogurt or adding to your favorite stir fry recipe.


Exercise Prescriptions

If your doctor writes you a prescription for an antibiotic, you are most likely going to take it. Research has show that people are likley to start and stick to an exercise program if their doctor tells them to do so…and actually writes them a prescription to exercise as well.


Step By Step Exercising with Heart Disease

Regular exercise can be safe and has many benefits such as improving cholesterol levels, helping you manage medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as increasing endurance and improving muscular strength and flexibility. Just be sure you are aware of any symptoms you might have before starting an exercise program that would make working out dangerous.



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